There is little doubt that transportation infrastructure is at the heart of the ‘Smart Mobility’ era, a key player in a changing world, more competitive and cohesive every day.
With some minor geographical exceptions, people and goods will be moving around the globe further and faster. Roads being the essential link in the modal chain, transportation systems will become fully integrated and intermodal, allowing travellers and freight to switch seamlessly between modes and across borders. All major airports and seaports will connect to the rail network; intermodal terminals for passenger and freight should be ‘smartly’ designed and equipped accordingly. In the case of freight, cooperative systems, seamless trans-shipment and smart route design will lead to the sector´s optimisation.
The world needs intelligent infrastructures that are able to process the vast amount of information collected in real time and provide the most effective transportation services to businesses and citizens alike.
New ideas, pioneering strategies and entrepreneurship are needed to respond to this new reality. Thanks to recent technological innovations, such as remote sensing, advanced analytics, automated operations, crowdsourcing and integrated scheduling and control, traditional ‘bricks’ infrastructure can now be used more effectively, and operated and maintained more efficiently.
The deployment of an integrated transportation ‘info-structure’, relying on V2I (vehicle to infrastructure), I2V (infrastructure to vehicle) and V2V (vehicle to vehicle) and I2I (infrastructure to infrastructure) communications, but also on the availability of open and quality transportation data, will provide substantial improvements for the performance of transportation networks and raise its efficiency. At the same time, location-based and traffic-related services will allow robust built-in data privacy and security solutions.
All around the world people are thronging cities. 53% of the population currently lives in urban areas and by 2050 this number is expected to reach 67%. Countless studies have stood out that most cities are badly equipped to cope with the transportation challenges ahead.
In addition to the increasing demand for urban mobility, needs are evolving. Changing travel habits, the rise of collaborative mobility, the demand for services to increase convenience, speed and predictability, as well as evolving customer expectations towards customisation, will require more intelligent infrastructure able to cope with these extended mobility requirements. The equation is clear: there cannot be a Smart City without Smart Mobility, and no Smart Mobility is possible without Smart Infrastructure.